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Politics

Blair ignorance

It’s official. Ignoring those with a contrary opinion is a policy endorsed from on high. Mr Blair states this in his letter of Tuesday 23rd January to the Guardian. He says:

“There will always be pessimists who claim every setback is a catastrophe. The same people no doubt said that even to bid was a waste of time. I am glad we ignored the doom-mongers then, and we will ignore them now.”


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Would you accept a guarantee from this man?

Ken Livingstone has ‘vowed’ not to raise the Council Tax contribution for the Olympics. Instead he said extra funding would come from ‘the National Lottery, the government and the private sector.' Well he’s certainly right about the National Lottery. That has already been raided for hundreds of millions of pounds originally destined for children’s sport among other things. However, his claims to be able to insist on the government and the private sector footing the bill seem rather less coherent.


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The institutionalisation of consent

The political machinery

Support for the Olympics was won by the London 2012 media strategy. The campaign worked assiduously to inhibit public discussion through a process of narrative containment and image management. There has also been a concerted promotion of the Olympic proposals by the Labour local authorities, and by Tessa Jowell in the run up to the May 2006 local elections. Promotion of the Olympic event has been caught up in the self aggrandizement and structural cohesion of the New Labour party machine.


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Sport as catalyst. A critique of Olympic economic development strategy

The LDA estimate that in the 'red line area' alone, somewhere between 11,000 and 12,000 jobs could be created (private conversation). Later projections are as high as 35,000 (E. Goodwyn and K Munn, October 11, 2006). However, it is clear that social actions and relationships, development plans and economic strategies, have all been defined by a discourse of uneven development, that of poverty in the Lower Lea Valley and Olympic boroughs (a continuing product).


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Sport as catalyst. Postmodernity: the city as neo liberal frontier

The LDA and consultants assert a re-imaging of locality via increased media exposure, and ascribe to major sporting events the power to redefine inhabitants' perception of place (LDA, 2004). They assert that sports facilities will catalyse development and attract business location after the Games. Cultural critics might disagree. Fredric Jameson (1991) points to the "induced disorientation" of much postmodern architecture and a "depthlessness based on the culture of the TV image".


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Intensification of policing, civil liberties implications

The costs of repression

Security for the London Olympics 2012 will be overseen by a Cabinet level Olympic Security Committee chaired by the Home Secretary and comprising senior officers from the UK security forces. The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), an interim body responsible for any negotiations before the Olympic Delivery Authority was fully constituted, had a Security Directorate of its own. £25 million has been allocated to in venue security, and a further £200 million to cover "wider security costs" (GamesBids.com, July 16, 2005).


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Corrupt French Olympic Committee President

French Olympic Committee president Henri Derandour was convicted on corruption charges on Thursday and given a suspended three-month prison sentence.


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Problems of mixed use development

Mixed-use schemes are seen by many policymakers as a panacea for a variety of problems. To some, mixed use is the solution to the problem of current inadequate housing supply; to others it is a means of delivering sustainable development and sustainable communities.


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